The corporate training market, which is over $130 billion in size, is about to be disrupted. Companies are starting to move away from their Learning Management Systems (LMS), buy all sorts of new tools for digital learning, and rebuild a whole new infrastructure to help employees learn. And the impact of GSuite, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook could be enormous.
The corporate L&D market has been through wrenching change over the last decade. In only 15 years we’ve come from long, page-turning courses to a wide variety of videos, small micro-learning experiences, mobile apps, and intelligent, adaptive learning platforms.
A new marketplace of tools vendors has emerged, most less than five years old, each trying to stake out a new place in the landscape. These includes tools for external content curation, tools to build MOOCs internally, tools to deliver adaptive, micro-learning content, and intelligent tools to help recommend content, assess learning, practice and identify skills gaps.
We know employees badly need these kinds of tools. Employees are pretty overwhelmed at work ,and typically only have 20 minutes a week to set aside for learning. So rather than produce two to three hour “courses” that require page-turning and slow video or animation, we need to offer “learning on-demand” and recommended content just as needed.
These changes will disrupt and change the $4 billion-plus for corporate learning management systems (LMS). Companies like IBM, Sears, and Visa are starting to turn off their old systems and build a new generation of learning infrastructure that looks more like a “learning network” and less like a single integrated platform.
Way back in 1983, I identified A.I. as one of 20 exponential technologies that would increasingly drive economic growth for decades to come.
Artificial intelligence applies to computing systems designed to perform tasks usually reserved for human intelligence using logic, if-then rules, decision trees and machine learning to recognize patterns from vast amounts of data, provide insights, predict outcomes and make complex decisions. A.I. can be applied to pattern recognition, object classification, language translation, data translation, logistical modeling and predictive modeling, to name a few. It’s important to understand that all A.I. relies on vast amounts of quality data and advanced analytics technology. The quality of the data used will determine the reliability of the A.I. output.
Machine learning is a subset of A.I. that utilizes advanced statistical techniques to enable computing systems to improve at tasks with experience over time. Chatbots like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or any of the others from companies like Google and Microsoft all get better every year thanks to all of the use we give them and the machine learning that takes place in the background.
Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that uses advanced algorithms to enable an A.I. system to train itself to perform tasks by exposing multi-layered neural networks to vast amounts of data, then using what has been learned to recognize new patterns contained in the data. Learning can be Human Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learningand/or Reinforcement Learning like Google used with DeepMind to learn how to beat humans at the complex game Go. Reinforcement learning will drive some of the biggest breakthroughs.
Autonomous computing uses advanced A.I. tools such as deep learning to enable systems to be self-governing and capable of acting according to situational data without human command. A.I. autonomy includes perception, high-speed analytics, machine-to-machine communications and movement. For example, autonomous vehicles use all of these in real time to successfully pilot a vehicle without a human driver.
Augmented thinking: Over the next five years and beyond, A.I. will become increasingly embedded at the chip level into objects, processes, products and services, and humans will augment their personal problem-solving and decision-making abilities with the insights A.I. provides to get to a better answer faster.
Technology is not good or evil, it is how we as humans apply it. Since we can’t stop the increasing power of A.I., I want us to direct its future, putting it to the best possible use for humans.
special guest Steven Bell, Associate Librarian at Temple University Libraries
Tuesday, February 27 when the #DLNchatcommunity got together to discuss: What Is the Role of Libraries in Digital Learning Innovation?
“it will definitely be a more sustainable initiative if it is collaborative—-whether it’s OER, open access journals, etc…if the library wants to go alone it will go fast but if it goes with others it will go much further.”
The #DLNchat community concurred there are ample opportunities for library-led collaborations in digital learning across campus. “Curation is key
OER = “Faculty + Librarians + Digital Media Experts = Engaging Content 4 learners.”
considering exactly that-how to create “librarians on demand” to meet students and faculty in dining halls, coffee shops, study lounges or wherever they may be conducting their scholarly work.
a learning management system (LMS) is never the solution to every problem in education. Edtech is just one part of the whole learning ecosystem and student experience.
Therefore, the next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE), as envisioned by EDUCAUSE in 2015 … Looking at the NGDLE requirements from an LMS perspective, I view the NGDLE as being about five areas: interoperability; personalization; analytics, advising, and learning assessment; collaboration; accessibility and universal design.
Content can easily be exchanged between systems.
Users are able to leverage the tools they love, including discipline-specific apps.
Learning data is available to trusted systems and people who need it.
The learning environment is “future proof” so that it can adapt and extend as the ecosystem evolves.
The learning environment reflects individual preferences.
Departments, divisions, and institutions can be autonomous.
Instructors teach the way they want and are not constrained by the software design.
There are clear, individual learning paths.
Students have choice in activity, expression, and engagement.
Analytics, Advising, and Learning Assessment
Learning analytics helps to identify at-risk students, course progress, and adaptive learning pathways.
The learning environment enables integrated planning and assessment of student performance.
More data is made available, with greater context around the data.
The learning environment supports platform and data standards.
Individual spaces persist after courses and after graduation.
Learners are encouraged as creators and consumers.
Courses include public and private spaces.
Accessibility and Universal Design
Accessibility is part of the design of the learning experience.
The learning environment enables adaptive learning and supports different types of materials.
Learning design includes measurement rubrics and quality control.
The core analogy used in the NGDLE paper is that each component of the learning environment is a Lego brick:
The days of the LMS as a “walled garden” app that does everything is over.
Today many kinds of amazing learning and collaboration tools (Lego bricks) should be accessible to educators.
We have standards that let these tools (including an LMS) talk to each other. That is, all bricks share some properties that let them fit together.
Students and teachers sign in once to this “ecosystem of bricks.”
The bricks share results and data.
These bricks fit together; they can be interchanged and swapped at will, with confidence that the learning experience will continue uninterrupted.
Any “next-gen” attempt to completely rework the pedagogical model and introduce a “mash-up of whatever” to fulfil this model would fall victim to the same criticisms levied at the LMS today: there is too little time and training to expect faculty to figure out the nuances of implementation on their own.
The Lego metaphor works only if we’re talking about “old school” Lego design — bricks of two, three, and four-post pieces that neatly fit together. Modern edtech is a lot more like the modern Lego. There are wheels and rocket launchers and belts and all kinds of amazing pieces that work well with each other, but only when they are configured properly. A user cannot simply stick together different pieces and assume they will work harmoniously in creating an environment through which each student can be successful.
As the NGDLE paper states: “Despite the high percentages of LMS adoption, relatively few instructors use its more advanced features — just 41% of faculty surveyed report using the LMS ‘to promote interaction outside the classroom.'”
But this is what the next generation LMS is good at: being a central nervous system — or learning hub — through which a variety of learning activities and tools are used. This is also where the LMS needs to go: bringing together and making sense of all the amazing innovations happening around it. This is much harder to do, perhaps even impossible, if all the pieces involved are just bricks without anything to orchestrate them or to weave them together into a meaningful, personal experience for achieving well-defined learning outcomes.
Making a commitment to build easy, flexible, and smart technology
Working with colleges and universities to remove barriers to adopting new tools in the ecosystem
Standardizing the vetting of accessibility compliance (the Strategic Nonvisual Access Partner Program from the National Federation of the Blind is a great start)
Advancing standards for data exchange while protecting individual privacy
Building integrated components that work with the institutions using them — learning quickly about what is and is not working well and applying those lessons to the next generation of interoperability standards
Letting people use the tools they love [SIC] and providing more ways for nontechnical individuals (including students) to easily integrate new features into learning activities
My note: something just refused to be accepted at SCSU
Technologists are often very focused on the technology, but the reality is that the more deeply and closely we understand the pedagogy and the people in the institutions — students, faculty, instructional support staff, administrators — the better suited we are to actually making the tech work for them.
Under the Hood of a Next Generation Digital Learning Environment in Progress
The challenge is that although 85 percent of faculty use a campus learning management system (LMS),1 a recent Blackboard report found that, out of 70,000 courses across 927 North American institutions, 53 percent of LMS usage was classified as supplemental(content-heavy, low interaction) and 24 percent as complementary (one-way communication via content/announcements/gradebook).2 Only 11 percent were characterized as social, 10 percent as evaluative (heavy use of assessment), and 2 percent as holistic (balanced use of all previous). Our FYE course required innovating beyond the supplemental course-level LMS to create a more holistic cohort-wide NGDLE in order to fully support the teaching, learning, and student success missions of the program.The key design goals for our NGDLE were to:
Create a common platform that could deliver a standard curriculum and achieve parity in all course sections using existing systems and tools and readily available content
Capture, store, and analyze any generated learner data to support learning assessment, continuous program improvement, and research
Develop reports and actionable analytics for administrators, advisors, instructors, and students